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    Brandon McCoy Jr. leads St. John Bosco basketball past Santa Margarita in Trinity League
    • January 27, 2024

    BELLFLOWER — St. John Bosco basketball recovered from a slow start and pulled away in the second half to defeat Santa Margarita 64-55 in a Trinity League showdown on Friday night.

    The Braves (22-4 overall) improved to 7-1 in league and are tied with Mater Dei (7-1 in league) for first place with two league games left. The two teams will meet Tuesday night at Mater Dei in a game that will likely decide the league title.

    The Braves were led by sophomore guard Brandon McCoy Jr. who was a steady presence all game long, scoring a game-high 28 points and adding five rebounds and an assist, including three 3-pointers.

    St. John Bosco coach Matt Dunn talks about the win over Santa Margarita, the slow start and the great performances of Brandon McCoy Jr. and Elzie Harrington @BoscoBasketball @BeachVarsity @presstelegram

    — Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello) January 27, 2024

    Bosco coach Matt Dunn spoke very highly of McCoy and said it’s his competitiveness that makes him stand out.

    “He’s a special player,” Dunn said. “Obviously, he’s an elite talent, but he’s an elite competitor. When you talk about the elite guys and their peers, he’s a tremendous competitor and that shows in a lot of ways.”

    McCoy said it’s all about letting the game come to him.

    “Just playing hard,” McCoy said on what was working for him offensively. “Just be who I am, just letting the game come to me.”

    The Braves also got a great performance from junior guard Elzie Harrington who had a solid all-around game with 18 points (14 in the second half) to go along with eight assists, four rebounds and two steals.

    Sophomore guard Brandon McCoy Jr. had a game-high 28 pts for St. John Bosco and discusses the win and what was working for him @BoscoBasketball @g0beezy @BeachVarsity @presstelegram

    — Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello) January 27, 2024

    St. John Bosco junior guard Elzie Harrington talks about reaching the 1,000 point milestone in HS career, how Braves took over in second half, and the great performance of McCoy Jr @BoscoBasketball @ElzieHarringto1 @presstelegram @BeachVarsity

    — Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello) January 27, 2024

    Harrington acknowledged he had a rough first half, but said his coaches encouraged him to remain aggressive for 32 minutes.

    “Obviously, I had a rough first half,” Harrington said with a smile. “My coaches, they trust me always. That’s important to me, so my assistant coaches, my head coach, they told me to keep going and stuff will start working, and that’s what happened in the third quarter.”

    It was an odd start to the game as Bosco started quickly with a 10-point lead, but the Eagles found their groove and finished the quarter on a 10-4 run to cut into the early deficit and kept the game close in the first half, even tying the game at 21 late in the second quarter.

    However, the Braves scored the final five points of the half and led 26-21 going into halftime.

    Dunn said the lack of urgency was the reason for the slow start in the first half.

    “I thought we were inconsistent with our effort and our urgency,” Dunn said. “(Santa Margarita) is really good if you don’t do things the right way, so you have to give them credit, they’re hard to play. Our guys did enough to win, but I didn’t think we were very consistent tonight.”

    St. John Bosco found its groove in the second half as McCoy stayed hot and Harrington got going offensively. The Braves led by as many as 15 in the fourth quarter. However, Santa Margarita made a late run to cut the deficit down to five with less than two minutes left before forward Dominic Perfetti hit a clutch corner 3-pointer to seal the deal for the Braves.

    The Eagles (17-8, 4-4) got a great performance from junior forward Dallas Washington who scored a team-high 20 points. Sophomore forward Brayden Kyman added 10 points and six rebounds off the bench, and guard Demarco Johnson had six points, six assists, and four rebounds.

    Harrington was honored before the game along with teammates Jack Turner and Kade Bonam for reaching the 1,000-point milestone in their high school careers.

    The 1,000 point club for @BoscoBasketball !!

    Before their showdown vs Santa Margarita, St. John Bosco acknowledges (from left to right): Elzie Harrington, Kade Bonam, and Jack Turner for reaching the 1,000 point milestone

    @BeachVarsity @presstelegram @johnwdavis

    — Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello) January 27, 2024

    “It’s a good accomplishment,” Harrington said. “I’m more interested in winning than scoring points. I’m happy to do it with my guys Jack and Kade. It’s cool for all of us to do it at the same time. It’s a good accomplishment.”

    “To have three guys do it in the same time frame is really hard,” Dunn added. “Obviously, it shows all three have sacrificed an incredible amount.”

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    ​ Orange County Register